Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Poetry of Science: Dawkins & Tyson


Two of science's luminaries converse on the beauty of science. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and host of NOVA and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins will explore the wonders of the Cosmos and of Life, its origins, its inspirations, and why science is not just an option, it is the only reality we possess.


'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009


Lawrence Krauss gives a talk on our current picture of the universe, how it will end, and how it could have come from nothing. Krauss is the author of many bestselling books on Physics and Cosmology, including "The Physics of Star Trek."


It Gets Better: DOs and DON'Ts for Parents



Neuroscience and Free Will

Marcus Du Sautoy (Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and current Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science) participates in an experiment conducted by John-Dylan Haynes (Professor at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin) that attempts to find the neurological basis for decision making.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anniversary Isaac Asimov Debate: Is Earth Unique?


Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts and moderates a panel discussion dedicated to the question "Is Earth Unique?" Panelists are selected for their diverse expertise in geology, biology, chemistry, and physics and for the ways they have applied these fields to address the past, present, and future of planet Earth.


It Gets Better Project


It Gets Better is an online video channel founded by Dan Savage in September 2010, in response to the suicide of Billy Lucas and a number of other teenagers who were bullied because they were gay or their peers suspected that they were gay.

Its goal is to prevent suicide among LGBT youth by having gay adults convey the message that these teens' lives will improve. Savage wrote, about the founding of the project, "I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better."


PLEDGE:
Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."


Videos:

Dan and Terry

Joel Burns

DOs and DON'Ts for Parents

President Barack Obama

Two Mothers


Links:

- Wikipedia

- YouTube

- Facebook

It Gets Better: Joel Burns

“The attitudes of society will change. Please live long enough to be here to see it.” - Joel Burns



Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Music: "Changes" by 2Pac





[1]
Come on come on
I see no changes wake up in the morning and I ask myself
is life worth living should I blast myself?
I'm tired of bein' poor & even worse I'm black
my stomach hurts so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch
Cops give a damn about a negro
pull the trigger kill a nigga he's a hero
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares
one less hungry mouth on the welfare
First ship 'em dope & let 'em deal the brothers
give 'em guns step back watch 'em kill each other
It's time to fight back that's what Huey said
2 shots in the dark now Huey's dead
I got love for my brother but we can never go nowhere
unless we share with each other
We gotta start makin' changes
learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers
and that's how it's supposed to be
How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?
I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
but things changed, and that's the way it is

[Chorus]
Come on come on
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
aww yeah
[Repeat]

[2]
I see no changes all I see is racist faces
misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
We under I wonder what it takes to make this
one better place, let's erase the wasted
Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right
'cause both black and white is smokin' crack tonight
and only time we chill is when we kill each other
it takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven sent
We ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
Now tell me what's a mother to do
bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
"I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin' crack to the kid. " I gotta get paid,"
Well hey, well that's the way it is

[Chorus]

[Talking:]
We gotta make a change...
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
and let's change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
what we gotta do, to survive.

[3]
And still I see no changes can't a brother get a little peace
It's war on the streets & the war in the Middle East
Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs
so the police can bother me
And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do
But now I'm back with the facts givin' it back to you
Don't let 'em jack you up, back you up,
crack you up and pimp smack you up
You gotta learn to hold ya own
they get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone
But tell the cops they can't touch this
I don't trust this when they try to rush I bust this
That's the sound of my tool you say it ain't cool
my mama didn't raise no fool
And as long as I stay black I gotta stay strapped
& I never get to lay back
'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs
some punk that I roughed up way back
comin' back after all these years
rat-tat-tat-tat-tat that's the way it is uhh

[Chorus]

Friday, October 8, 2010

Numbers


Numbers are words invented by humans to stand for any occurrence of a pattern of discrete things. “Two” is a word for any occurrence of a pattern of two discrete things. Thus, the only thing required for it to exist is any two distinguishable things, and wherever that pattern is repeated we can say a “twoness” exists there. And for the number to exist “in the abstract” it is required that there be a potential – real or imagined – for two discrete thing of any sort to exist. “Two” means something like "the pattern of two distinguishable things", and to say that it “exists” is to say that this pattern is manifest in the world.

Reference:
Carrier, R. (2005). Sense and Goodness without God

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Sound of Science (music)




Hello Darwin, my old friend
I’ve come to read from you again.
You comfort me when I grow weary
of people saying “it’s just a theory”.
Because a theory is a system of abstractions in our finite minds
of laws behind
the things we find with science.

And on the internet I saw
a billion people, maybe more
people clinging to old delusions
people jumping to conclusions
people holding superstitions that are obviously quite absurd
who’d never heard
a single word of science.

How do you think a doctor knows
how a disease like cancer grows?
How did we learn how we might treat it?
How do you think one day we might beat it?
It won’t be by taking sugar pills or standing on one leg for hours
while eating flowers
but through the power of science.

If you have answers and you are sure
they’re better than what came before
make your hypothesis and test it
Take the results that you have collected
then you write them in a paper and submit for peer review.
That’s what we do
to check it’s truly science.

And the people stood and prayed
they said “our faith cannot be swayed”.
They have their views and they won’t move them.
They have their “truths” and won’t prove them.
Take’ll the word of the prophets over fossils that were really found
beneath the ground.
They don’t like the sound of science.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Secrets of Scientology (BBC Panorama)




Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Protect Dissent: "In the Cards"





This video was submitted as part of the Center for Inquiry's Campaign for Free Expression Video Contest, and won.

Music: "Fuck You Very Much" by Lily Allen





[Verse 1]
Look inside, look inside your tiny mind
Then look a bit harder
'Cause we're so uninspired, so sick and tired
Of all the hatred you harbor

So you say it's not okay to be gay
Well, I think you're just evil
You're just some racist who can't tie my laces
Your point of view is medieval

[Chorus]
Fuck you, fuck you very, very much
'Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you, fuck you very, very much
'Cause your words don't translate
And it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

[Verse 2]
Do you get, do you get a little kick
Out of being small minded?
You want to be like your father
It's approval you're after
Well, that's not how you find it

Do you, do you really enjoy
Living a life that's so hateful?
'Cause there's a hole where your soul should be
You're losing control a bit
And it's really distasteful

[Chorus]

[Verse 3]
You say you think we need to go to war
Well, you're already in one
'Cause it's people like you that need to get slew
No one wants your opinion

[Chorus]